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  • Launching TwinCop: 7 Days Of An Indie Dev's Journal

    - Kartik Kini

  • May 6th... 4 days
    Ironically I think writing this is stressing me out a little, if only because it reminds me how many days are left. It does help to keep track of how I'm feeling, and writing can help you understand what you're feeling. Right now, I'm feeling a little turmoil.

    I'm not concerned about how much money we're going to make, having a full time job helps remove that fear from the equation. I think I'm afraid we'll have poor reviews. I know failure is a good teacher, but trying the hardest you've ever tried at something and failing is bound to sting. Not to say I'm convinced I'm gonna fail, but the fear is there.

    Perhaps the other part of this fear is that since I've learnt so much about gamedev and the business of selling games in the past 2.5 years- I know all the mistakes I've made. Which feels annoying and frustrating. I'm so much better at pixel art, level design, game design, and running a small indie team than when we started this project. Naturally I feel like I can do much better than this, but I couldn't get to this point without learning through trial and error.

    Going back to a sentiment I expressed earlier I just hope I get some validation, and some encouragement to keep doing this. Thankfully I have amazing friends who I can count on for that.

    Anyways, I did a lot more bug fixing and polishing and balancing today. Managed to get a lot of work done in a short span of time in the evening without staying up too late.

    I did fall down the stairs at 1am so... uh... that happened.

    May 7th... 3 Days
    I went to work today and was definitely having trouble staying focused. Every 5 minutes I was thinking about bits of polish or bugs that I "know" someone is going to find within minutes of starting the game... etc. I did do my job while at work, but my brain was definitely not 100% there. I spent my lunch break organizing some tickets and prioritizing work for these last few days. As far as I am aware the game is in a "launch-able" state.

    After coming home I had dinner, and immediately got to work on fixing some bugs and improving some sections of the game. It felt good to fix those things, and I felt good once I was done. I took a break and played some Overwatch (oh boy, I did not win a single match) and then some Apex (got a win within 30 minutes, heck yeah). I treated myself to some dessert, and then I went to bed.

    My back was still hurting from slipping down the stairs the night before, so I don't think I slept very well.

    May 8th... 2 Days
    I worked from home today, and plan to for the rest of the week. I woke up feeling exhausted, and that feeling continued through most of the day. Didn't sleep well, maybe? Feeling burnt out from the non-stop stress of launching a game? Needed food? I had breakfast, went out for lunch with my partner, and took a nap. Still feeling tired. Made some coffee and played some Apex, finally my brain started kicking into gear. I had to fight the cruel voice in my brain berating me for not doing any work until the evening. It wasn't very pleasant.

    I had sent a build of the game to a good friend, and they had just gotten back to me about some feedback. We found a frustrating issue that was only appearing on their computer, and was not reproducible in the editor. After banging my head against my keyboard for a couple hours I finally found the silly mistake I'd made (keep a close eye on those Rewired input manager prefabs kids!).

    After cooling off from the frustration of tracking a small bug for hours, I went to make dinner. I worked while I ate, following up on some emails, twitter DMs, and other various errands related to getting the word out about my game.

    It feels achingly difficult to get anyone to care about what you're doing. I know we've certainly got some room to grow in terms of marketing ourselves, but I didn't realize until now just how much you need to do... in addition to just finishing a game. I feel a little dazed from how much I feel like I've been yelling on twitter about our game. I'm so tired and I hope people appreciate how much effort is going into every corner of this game.

    I ended up staying up rather late working on some new features (definitely a responsible decision this close to launch). It was rewarding to try something new(ish), I learned some new things and got to make something polished in the game. So much of game development lately has been tweaking and editing and adding boring features- I'd almost forgotten how much fun game development usually is.


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